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7 indicted in attack on 2 NYPD officers in Times Square

A grand jury indicted seven people linked to an attack last month on two police officers in Times Square that was captured on video, Manhattan’s top prosecutor announced Thursday.

Five of the defendants indicted, whose names have been released publicly, face felony charges. Of those, four face charges of second-degree assault, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. said during an afternoon news conference.

The names of two defendants who were indicted were not released because they have not been arrested, Bragg said.

“This assault … sickened me and outraged me,” Bragg said. “As a lifelong New Yorker, I do not tolerate attacks on police officers and certainly I do not as Manhattan district attorney.”

The melee occurred the night of Jan. 27 as police were trying to disperse a crowd when a fight broke out. The officers who were assaulted sustained minor injuries, police said.

The five suspects who were previously arrested and were indicted are Yorman Reveron, 24; Darwin Andres Gomez-Izquiel, 19; Kelvin Servita Arocha, 19; Wilson Juarez, 21; and Yohenry Brito, 24.

Bragg called the investigation by prosecutors and police “meticulous,” and detailed some of the defendants’ alleged crimes.

Gomez-Izquiel allegedly grabbed an officer and kicked another officer and Reveron allegedly grabbed and pulled two officers to the ground.

Both men are charged with two counts of second-degree assault and obstructing governmental administration, Bragg said.

Assault on two police officers in Times Square on Jan. 27, 2024.NYPD Crime Stoppers

Two of the men — Juarez and Servita Arocha — did not assault police, Bragg said.

Juarez gave a suspect a jacket and then put a jacket on before discarding it to avoid an arrest, Bragg said. He is charged with tampering with physical evidence and third-degree hindering prosecution, prosecutors said.

Servita Arocha is charged with second-degree assault and obstructing governmental administration after allegedly kicking a police radio.

Brito, who authorities said was at the center of the melee when he refused to follow police orders to move because he and a group were blocking the street, was charged with two counts of second-degree assault, obstructing governmental administration, tampering with physical evidence and third-degree hindering prosecution, Bragg said.

Brito has been held on bail since Feb. 1, Bragg said.

Reveron, Gomez-Izquiel, Servita Arocha, and Juarez were released on their own recognizance following their arraignments.

On Jan. 31, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul criticized the decision to allow the suspects to be released.

“I’m not satisfied with that at all,” she said. “These are law enforcement officers who should never, under any circumstances, be subjected to physical assault. It’s wrong on all accounts, and I’m looking to judges and prosecutors to do the right thing. We have changed bail laws. We have different laws now as a result of what we did in 2022, in the 2023 budgets, and we’re seeing a decline in repeat offenders. We have all sorts of data that shows it’s working, but that situation is abhorrent to me.”

Police have said that some of the suspects who were released were believed to have taken a bus out of New York City. The men were not required to stay in New York based on the terms of their release.

Bragg announced Thursday that authorities are seeking four more people suspected of assaulting the officers.

Up to 13 people may have been involved in the attack, prosecutors said.

Earlier this week, officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, said the agency had apprehended four people believed to be involved in the attack. However, three senior law enforcement officials told NBC News the people in ICE custody do not match the identities or names of those involved in the New York attack.

New York Mayor Eric Adams, who also spoke before reporters Thursday, said authorities don’t care if the defendants were migrants or asylum seekers and said the majority within those groups are law-abiding citizens.

But, he said, of the defendants indicted, if they are convicted, the federal government should do its job “in deporting them from our city.”

Authorities did not speak Thursday about the whereabouts of the defendants who may have absconded.

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